The CDC just released the results of their annual study on birth rates and found that Americans aren't making enough babies to sustain the current United States population without the addition of immigration. This declining birth rate is from 2017 and is the most significant drop in recent years.
The report results come after a steady birth rate decline every year for the last seven years. Apparently, there need to be 2,100 births for every 1,000 women in their lifetime to sustain the U.S. population. Instead, that number falls at 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women which is 16% less than where it needs to be.
For comparison, the 2016 birth rate 1,820.5 children per 1,000 women and the 2015 rate was 1,843.5 per 1,000 women. The only states meeting the 2,100 per 1,000 women rate are Utah and South Dakota. Americans are having fewer babies every year. But why?
NBC News reported on this revelation on our declining birth rate. Some reasons for this is that the teen pregnancy rate has rapidly declined and there is much more access to contraceptives. These are all good things. Abstinence-only sex education is being slowly replaced with actual pregnancy prevention education for teens and birth control pills are just a few things women can use to prevent pregnancy these days. Other options such as IUDs only need to be inserted into the cervix and are almost 100% effective. Not having to take a pill every single day is a relief to many because one missed pill can lead to a baby.
The low birth rate isn't really surprising to Americans. We're the only developed nation that doesn't offer any sort of paid maternity (or paternity) leave for an extended amount of time. The cost of childcare is outrageous as is raising a child in general. Women are also waiting to have children until they're more established in their career and more secure financially.
Older parents also mean fewer children since that fertility window is so small. This trend of a declining birth rate isn't rare and found in other more developed nations across the globe. Smaller families are simply more common as well. Most families can only afford to raise one to three children comfortably.
How many kids do you have? Are you doing your part to keep Americans going? Let us know in the comments!